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Movie ReviewsRating: 3 of 5 yaps

Faster

There’s actually a lot of things to like about “Faster,” but the final mixture of dissimilar elements leaves us with a strange creature whose head doesn’t quite know what its tail is doing.

This new revenge drama at the very least brings Dwayne Johnson out of his self-imposed exile in kiddie flicks (“Tooth Fairy,” “The Game Plan”) and back into rougher fare. Let’s face it, when one resembles the former pro wrestling star dubbed The Rock, he just naturally fits better in vengeful badass mode.

At first, we think director George Tillman Jr. is going for a parody, so over-the-top is the opening sequence.

Johnson plays a prison inmate who’s just been sprung after 10 years hard time. After enduring a sanctimonious speech from the warden (Tom Berenger, in a throwaway cameo) he marches impatiently out of the prison gate into the desert sun. No one is there to greet him, so he literally runs to town. Waiting for him there is a souped-up Chevrolet Chevelle SS, with a gun under the seat and a list of names and addresses of people he is supposed to kill.

But screenwriting brothers Tony and Joe Gayton are actually going for something a little more sophisticated here — a morality tale about vengeance and forgiveness, and a future enslaved to the past. Maybe that’s why the principal characters are never given names, just titles. Johnson’s is “Driver,” since he was the wheel man on a bank robbery that went bad, leaving his brother dead and his mind fixated on slaughtering those who did it.

(The film’s title is a little unclear. There are two nifty chase sequences, but I would hardly call this a car picture. And, if anything, the pace of the killings slows down the longer the movie goes on.)

Driver marches into a local telemarketing office, and without a word blows away the guy who played the bad kid in “Children of the Corn.” Personally, I’m in favor of wiping out everybody that had anything to do with that movie.

Billy Bob Thornton plays Cop, a high-strung detective who’s something of a laughingstock in the department. The hotshot in the squad (Carla Gugino) isn’t too happy about being partnered up with a loser, who’s even got the proverbial two weeks until retirement to boot.

Then there’s Killer (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), a British assassin with some personal issues. Rather than being a cold executioner, he’s an angsty Gen Y kid who pops prescription meds and talks to his therapist over the phone while he’s on the job — in this case, taking out Driver.

Killer also has a beautiful girlfriend (Maggie Grace) who wants him to give up the assassination game — though, for a while we think she might have a hand in it too: After a quickie wedding, they decamp to a barren patch for couples’ target shooting.

All these loopy pieces spin around each other — Driver’s methodical killings, Killer’s neurotic self-absorption, Cop’s mumbling and dithering — before intersecting in the finale, in ways the audience long ago guessed at.

Johnson’s the steadying influence, with a face full of scars and haunted eyes, and we want the movie to be about him and his obsession with slaying those who done him wrong — even when one or two of them express genuine remorse. But “Faster” keeps wandering off.

Thornton’s Cop is such a drag, and the whole strange package of an assassin who kills out of a need for validation feels like it was plucked from another movie and sewed onto this one, Frankenstein-style.

3 Yaps

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17 Responses to “Faster”

  1. Kim Wilson says:

    I loved this movie. Am so happy Dwayne Johnson has finally went back to adult movies. This flim had me going from the beginning till the end. Would recommend you go see it if you haven’t.

  2. A great movie filled with lots of excitement….

  3. Julie Wakley says:

    Loved this movie – Billy Bob was his usual quirky, bad self, and Dwayne Johnson was a great leading man, although a man of few words. Loved the action – it was non-stop.

  4. I loved this movie….Very action packed…Had me on the edge of me seat!

  5. Diego Hollins says:

    This movie could have been a whole lot better. Great start but unable to sustain it through out the movie. I expected more because of the trailer, I give it 2 stars.

  6. i dug the movie’s action packed pace in the beginning . . but said pacing lacked heavily as the movie progressed. like the bathroom fight scene was way too short, it was almost pointless. the TRAILER misleads you into thinking this is going to be some car chase monstrosity! Despite alot of flaws, i enjoyed the free viewing, but there wont be any repeat visits.

  7. Jenn Wattam says:

    I was NOT a fan of this movie at all. Pretty much a bore all the way through. I should have known better since I really don’t like either Billy Bob or The Rock, but hey I thought I’d give it a shot. Boy was I wrong. Can I give it a negative yap?

  8. Jacquie D says:

    I thought "Faster" was DUMB!!! The"Rockl" wore a frown throghout, drove like a maniac and went around killing people. He certainly didn’t need any acting ability for this role. Bill Bob was a total washout!!!

  9. David Zebell says:

    I liked this movie but I dont think ‘The Rock’ lived up to some of his past action performances. There was a lot of action, and by him, I just didn’t think his character had as much to give as in previous flicks. He was a man on a mission, and that and the action was all there was to him.

  10. Carl Cederlund says:

    Not a bad flick. Not really the "car" movie I thought it would be but still maybe exceeded my expectations by a little.

  11. Lance says:

    I agree, it’s definitely good to have Dwayne back into the adult genre and out of all of the kiddie flicks.

  12. Dennis says:

    Saw the film and with a full theater, you got into it more , but not one that i would want in my collection.

  13. Nikki says:

    Faster is an excellent movie, a must see. Its full of action

  14. Brian Sosin says:

    I really had problems with the third act. It felt like a film that had massive reshoots. I know it is a dumb action movie, but there is a lot of dumb backstory forced on the audience in the third act that ruins one’s enjoyment of it.

  15. Betina Mobley says:

    This movie was realy good. The Rock was awesome in it. I was ready for him to do an action movie again.

  16. James says:

    It was a good film overall. I agree with the 4 yaps. Thought it was funny to see your name in the beginning(not the way you want to see it).

  17. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by The Film Yap, Christopher Lloyd. Christopher Lloyd said: And my "Faster" review. http://www.thefilmyap.com/2010/11/24/faster/ [...]